Let's All Praise Rihanna’s New, Inclusive Lingerie Line Savage X Fenty
With two days, five hours, and 20 minutes left (depending on when you’re reading this), Rihanna's inaugural lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, is set to drop as one of her most inclusive lines yet. Available to the masses on May 11, the collection is all about body positivity, and the social media campaign leading up to the drop is showing us just that.
Videos of women of all sizes and races are posted regularly, showcasing the large audience this line was meant for: everyone. "X stands for ALL," reads a caption underneath a video and audio clip of plus-size model Audrie Ritchie, who elaborates on when she feels the most sexy:
"In the morning… rolls, stretch marks, cellulite," Ritchie is heard saying in the ad.
"Savage is really about taking complete ownership of how you feel and the choices you make," Rihanna told Vogue. For Savage, sex appeal equals empowerment. The women featured in the audio and video ads are discussing what it means for them to feel sexy.
In another ad, model Stella Duvall talks about how because she is the stereotypical definition of sexy (white and skinny), she is often told to be nude during shoots. "I can do more than that," Duvall says in her video. "I'm totally open to nudity as well... but I'm not just that."
The women alongside Rihanna modeling Savage are not only changing the definition of sexy, but expanding the definition of sexuality. Do only white, skinny women experience being sexual? No. The statements these women are making seem trite, but saying them out-loud and on a platform like Rihanna's enables them to become more accepted in society. The end result? Her platform becomes a curated place to feel accepted, sexual, and empowered.
Not only does the line include intricate floral and lace designs as seen in Rihanna's first official ad, but there are also T-shirt bras and hipster underwear that can be worn at any time, not just in the bedroom. Savage X Fenty is a line meant for all, at all times.
Savage X Fenty is breaking major barriers in the lingerie world. It might seem odd that a line like this could be a trailblazer in the industry; isn't body acceptance and positivity the standard nowadays? Victoria's Secret, one of the highest-grossing lingerie and underwear brands in the world, is still catching up. Less than four years ago they released the infamous "Perfect Body" ad, which showed almost all-white women with the same skinny body type. While the ad received its rightful backlash, it wasn't taken off the market. The words were simply changed from "The Perfect Body" to "A Body for Everybody." It featured the same photo with mostly white women who were all stick-thin. If anything, the new caption made it worse.
This isn't the first time Rihanna has released something this inclusive. Fenty Beauty was launched in September 2017, which was praised for the all-encompassing shade range of 40 foundations. The advertisements used for the makeup brand once more included people of all colors, of all sizes, and of all genders.
Shortly after Fenty Beauty became the most popular makeup brand of the season, Tarte Cosmetics released a line of long-awaited foundation, the Shape Tape Foundation, in January 2018. The collection included 11 white shades—and there were 15 shades total, so, you do the math. The gross oversight and obvious lack of people of color working on this line resulted in outrage. It's not okay for people of color to be left out of the beauty industry, and society is voicing this now.
2018 is the year we stop casting people out based on size, color or gender, and Rihanna is the leader of this movement. In the beauty and fashion industry, it is rare to come across products that are meant for everyone on the planet and can make everyone feel sexy, beautiful, and empowered no matter what they look like. Rihanna is breaking that pattern with incredible pace.